| Jan 30, 2017
Every year, smoking tobacco claims the lives of more than 480,000 Americans—that’s nearly one in every five deaths. More than 6 million people die around the world annually, and according to cancer.org, 30% of those deaths are from cancer and other diseases caused by smoking side effects. A CDC fact sheet states that more deaths are caused by tobacco every single year than deaths from illicit drug abuse, alcohol use, HIV, road accidents, and gunshots combined. In fact, tobacco has caused more deaths in the United States than all of the American wars combined.
Smoking increases the risk of serious health problems, many diseases, and is the leading cause of preventable death. Many individuals think that smoking only affects your lungs, but according to the CDC, smoking harms nearly every organ of the body. Tobacco smoke contains a deadly mix of more than 7,000 chemicals; hundreds of which are harmful, and about 70 of them can cause cancer. Not only can smoking lead to lung cancer, but smoking can also cause cancer in several other organs, such as oral cavity, lips, bronchus, esophagus, larynx, stomach, pancreas, kidney, liver, nasal cavity, colon, rectum, and trachea.
It’s no surprise that people who stop smoking greatly reduce their risk for disease and early death. While health benefits are greater for people who stop at earlier ages, there are still several benefits of quitting at any age. It is important to know that you are NEVER too old to quit.
According to the CDC, smoking cessation is associated with the following health benefits:
- Lowered risk for lung cancer and many other types of cancer.
- Reduced risk for heart disease, stroke, and peripheral vascular disease (narrowing of the blood vessels outside your heart).
- Reduce heart disease risk within 1 to 2 years of quitting.
- Reduced respiratory symptoms, such as coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath. While these symptoms may not disappear, they do not continue to progress at the same rate among people who quit compared with those who continue to smoke.
- Reduced risk of developing some lung diseases (such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, also known as COPD, one of the leading causes of death in the United States).
- Reduced risk for infertility in women of childbearing age. Women who stop smoking during pregnancy also reduce their risk of having a low birth weight baby.
There are so many reasons not to smoke, but finding one good reason to smoke is virtually impossible. It’s undoubtedly tough to kick habits such as smoking, but when you do, you will start seeing positive impacts of quitting smoking in just a few weeks. Quitsmokingcommunity.org states that for instance, within weeks your cough goes away and your teeth and skin start looking better, within one year the risk of having a heart attack drops significantly, and within 2 to 5 years, the risk of mouth, lung, and other cancers drop sharply. If you want to quit, but don’t know where to start, schedule an appointment with your family physician or click on this link here for other helpful tips.
For more information, go to http://quitsmokingcommunity.org and https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/cessation/quitting/